Day 15 for the World Cup in Brazil. Groups E and F were completed last night, with France to play Nigeria in the knock-out stages and Argentina plying Switzerland. Groups F and H completing the first stage tonight. No football tomorrow (Friday)!
Results for Wednesday 25th June 2014
Ecuador 0-0 France
Ref: Noumandiez Doue
Honduras 0-3 Switzerland
Shaqiri 6′, 31′, 71′
Ref: Néstor Pitana
Bos-Herce 3-1 Iran
Dzeko 23′ Pjanic 59′ Vrsajevic 83′ Ghoochannejhad 82′
Ref: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Nigeria 2-3 Argentina
Musa 4′, 47′ Messi 3′, 45′ Rojo 50′
Ref: Nicola Rizzoli
Fixtures for Thursday 26th June
USA v Germany. Match 45.Group G, kick off at 5pm BST, shown live on BBC 1 at the Arena Pernambuco, Recife
Portugal v Ghana. Match 46. Group G, kick off at 5pm BST, live on BBC 3 at the Estádio Nacional, Brasília
Korea Republic v Belgium. Match 47. Group H, kick off at 9pm BST, live on ITV at the Arena de São Paulo, São Paulo
Algeria v Russia. Match 48. Group H, kick off at 9pm BST, live on ITV4 at the Arena da Baixada, Curitiba
Thursday 26th June – http://www.exeweb.com/2014/06/24/brazil-2014-referee-appointments-for-june-26/
Ecuador v France
Reinaldo Rueda, Ecuador coach
It’s been a very short tournament. We’ve paid for our bad performance against Switzerland at the start, knowing that we were going to be finishing off against France. We tried to play our best football, but my players have had a long season and didn’t arrive at the World Cup in the greatest shape. The matches have been very tight, but we just haven’t been able to tilt them in our favour. Maybe we should have played with a bit more freedom against the Swiss.
Didier Deschamps, France coach
We’re in the last 16, which was our objective. It’s going to take more than a draw to stop me from feeling happy about that. I made a lot of changes for this match, but the objective was the same. We did everything we could to score, but you can’t win every match 3-0, and while I know we weren’t quite as effective as we were against Switzerland, Ecuador are a very fine side who have a lot of pace up front. All the same, it’s good that we didn’t concede. I’m overjoyed, thrilled and very satisfied. There’s a whole new competition starting now for us. We’re going to savour the moment and then focus on Nigeria.
Honduras v Switzerland
Ottmar Hitzfeld, Switzerland coach
As a coach, after losing 5-2 to France you know it’s important to stay calm. I made the most of our strengths. Xherdan Shaqiri is a player who can make the difference because he can decide games on his own. Even against France he played very well. I put him as a number 10 today and that paid off. We’ve got nothing left to lose so things can only get better for us.
Luis Suarez, Honduras coach
Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we were hoping for. Their early goal gave them an advantage and made every counter-attack a threat. Our second half was good and we had several chances but we just couldn’t score. The whole country is disappointed and I’m sad because we didn’t manage to reach the next round. That was our dream. I made the decision to step down five minutes ago. It’s time for a change. The new coach has a good squad at his disposal, we’ve got good young players and we’re on the right track. I’ll take positive memories from this experience and I’ll always be a Honduras fan.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Man of the Match
It is definitely a big achievement to score three goals at a World Cup. The important thing is that we stuck together as a team. Now we’ll have to see what happens. We’re in the Round of 16 so anything is possible.
Nigeria v Argentina
Alejandro Sabella, Argentina coach
We’d already qualified for the next round but it’s good to have finished top of the group, that’s what we were aiming for. We improved, were more mobile, passed the ball better and were quicker. We were better at changing the tempo of the game too, improved our interplay and had a lot of chances. The further into the tournament we go, the more we’re finding our rhythm. The structure of the side is getting much better.
Lionel Messi, Man of the Match
We were better in this game, regardless of the goals we conceded. We were more threatening today, found the spaces to exploit and had more chances to score. But we still want more. The good thing is we improved and it’s a wonderful experience with the people here. We’re all still chasing a shared dream.
Stephen Keshi, Nigeria coach
It’s an honour and we’re very happy to reach the next round. I think we lost the game because we showed them too much respect in the first half. After the break we managed to play our game, attacked more, had more possession and were better overall. But Argentina are a great team and Messi’s a great player. He’s blessed and there’s no way you can escape him. Messi’s from Jupiter.
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Iran
Safet Susic, Bosnia and Herzegovina coach
We dominated the game and deserved to win. Although I know that Iran wanted to progress, the victory was important for us. We can now go home with our heads held high. We wanted to leave a good impression, but we’re not satisfied because we think that we could have done more. I’m not being arrogant when I say that, but if we’d played a bit better against Nigeria and had a bit more luck, I think we would have made the Round of 16. I was a little surprised by the way Iran played today, they can attack teams extremely well and I was expecting them to be adventurous, but I thought at times it was almost as if they would have been content to draw.
Carlos Queiroz, Iran coach
I have to congratulate Bosnia and Herzegovina, they deserved to win today and, without disrespect to Argentina or Nigeria, I believe that they should have qualified from this group. They have great players who play for great clubs – and I do believe that they are the best team of the group. We pushed ourselves to the limit, mentally and physically and I’m very, very proud of them. We were exhausted after the Argentina game, but we fought for 90 minutes. Despite all our difficulties, we kept pushing and created some good chances, but Bosnia and Herzegovina were better today. They were on another level and we are not at that level due the facilities in Iran. We finish our job here with no regrets, no excuses.